DynaVector DV505 is it worth the hassle?

I have a Garrard 301 with a SME3009 II improved arm. The table is coming back from ZU audio with a new ZU DL103 catridge and their Xaus tonearm cable. While waiting for the table, I happened upon a really good deal on a DynaVector DV505. It looks cool but it appears complicated to set up and use. I'm somewhat of a novice and just joined AudiogoN. Any opinions about the DynaVector arm would be appreciated. By the way, Sean Casey and his crew at ZU audio just blew me away with their level of customer service. Unbelieveable!
The Dynavector 505 is not more complicated (in my opinion) to set up than other high quality tonearms. I owned a 505 some years back and had no issues with it other than it's unusual appearance and massive overall weight. The overall weight could be a problem for some "sprung" turntables.

The biggest problem with the Dynavector is the short (vertical axis) tonearm which is especially sensitive to VTA and record warp due to it's ultra short length. The plus side of the Dynavector is the high mass arm for the horizontal plane, which provides very robust bass with most cartridges I've paired with it.

Your SME is a good arm and the Dynavector is a good arm. I suspect cartridge matching, tonearm cable and other variables could cause a person to vote for one or the other based on their own preferences.

If you want to move way beyond either of these arms you would have to buy a newer design such as the SME 312S or the Triplanar. Again, just my opinion.
odd... Albertporter... in your first paragraph you find the arm with no issues other than its appearance and weight...in the second paragraph you chastise it for its ultra sensitivity to VTA and record warp.

Dear Eriksdad,

I have the 507 MK II and assuming that the 505 has the geometry and adjustment features as the 507, I can tell you that this arm is very easy to set up and adjust. It has adjustments for vertical tracking force (VTF), azimuth, vertical tracking angle (VTA) and anti-skating. Unlike some other arms, these settings stay for a long time.

The Dynavector tonearm has seen various upgrades throughout the years, so I'm not sure how the older versions compare to the new one.

The arm looks complex because every setting has its own dial. These dials stick out from the main arm structure. This is what makes setting this arm a breeze.

This is a link to where you can download the instructions for the 505 and other Dynavector products.




This seemed to be the crux of the question posed by Eriksdad:
It looks cool but it appears complicated to set up and use
I responded that I had no issues with the set up.
The Dynavector 505 is not more complicated to set up than other high quality tonearms. I owned a 505 some years back and had no issues with it other than it's unusual appearance and massive overall weight. The overall weight could be a problem for some "sprung" turntables.
The second part of Eriksdad question was:
.....Any opinions about the Dynavector arm would be appreciated.
To which I responded
problem with the Dynavector is the short (vertical axis) tonearm which is especially sensitive to VTA and record warp due to it's ultra short length. The plus side of the Dynavector is the high mass arm for the horizontal plane, which provides very robust bass with most cartridges I've paired with it.
I addressed the issue of set up, followed by opinion's (both positive and negative) of the 505's unusual design.

How is this odd?
The comment I have is that I think Albert is right. I own a Dynevector XX20 H.O. and it is right on top of the vinyl no VTA adjustment unipivot bearing. The detail is fantastic . So much so that after carefully washing the record with great fluids and brushes on the Dyne machine 3 times it shines like a mirror. Then I play it.Thee noise flor is ok but every dust mite or a piece whatever microscopic debirs that alit on the record during the time i got it going sounds like a firecracker. It is too much for me. I use a highly mdded ARC SP6B with very good NOS and current tubes.
Mechans, You wrote, "it is right on top of the vinyl no VTA adjustment unipivot bearing". Can you explain further just what it is you are talking about? Do you own a Dynavector tonearm to go with your DV XX20 cartridge? I ask because I too have some interest in purchasing a DV tonearm and am following this thread.

Albert, Do you think that the "dynamic balance" feature of the DV507 partially overcomes the potential disadvantage of a short arm wand on a warped LP? (I don't know whether the 505 also sports that feature.)
Dear Erik: As all those post I agree that the 505 is very simple to set-up even is more simple to setup in an arm board because you could need no drill holes to fix it ( of course if you want it you can fix through screws. ), you can do it using only a double sided tape ( like the one used to fix carpeting/rugs.
This is the way that I use it all the time in different TTs and works really fine and you can mount it evrywhere in any surface type.

Now, Albert point out some VTA/warps problems because the 505 design, well I have to say that I never had any single trouble or sound degradation due to what Albert post that certainly he had.

This is a " surprise " to me because a big part ( main ) of the 505/507 design is really that: the very high tracking " resolution " of the tonearm, here it is what we can read in the 505/507 Dynavector manual:

+++++ " Conversely, the
vertically movable sub-arm is made so light that it never lets the stylus jump the groove of even a disk
with warp(s) previously unnegotiable. " +++++

Lewm, both the 505 and 507 are dynamic balance design and as I already write here I never had/have a single trouble about and in all my audio years of experience this is the very first time that a Dyna tonearm owner has a complaint on the subject.

Regards and enjoy the music.
As with any arm, there are different sets of tradeoffs in all designs. The Dynavector is no different. Is there a perfect arm? I cannot really answer that.

Yes, the short armtube is more sensitive to VTA changes on warped records but was there for a few specific reasons. The short and light armtube tracks almost anything without a hiccup.

Because of the low vertical mass, the armtube and the cartridge works as one. The arm can follow the record profile (no record is perfectly flat) without a hitch hence the great trackability compared to longer tonearms. It will also take the work load off the cartridge's suspension (as the suspension is not fighting a heavy armtube)making the cartridge work more efficiently and track quieter.

Being a 507 mk2 owner, I have not really detected sonic changes/degradation due to changes to VTA. Can "you" hear it? I don't know. Maybe if you strain you might but when the music is playing...everything else will be forgotten.

Lastly, setting the arm from scratch is a breeze. Pls do not let the "look" of this arm scare you. It is highly adjustable and a very flexible arm to use with a wide range of cartridges.

If you have the opportunity to get a 505, go for it. It's a great tonearm and way ahead of it's time.
As I write this I am looking at my tonearm. I see the table turning, but with the ring clamp and spindle clamp...or with a vacuum system, the arm moves across the record with grace and alacrity. I just looked at the stylus, and it too seems not to move. I suppose if your records are warped and in need of Dyna's answer to tracking, you should get it. However, eliminating the warp in the first place enables the cartridge to sit in the groove and not be tossed around at all.
I have the DV501, the earliest of them all, this was given to me by a friend last year. This is set up on the Raven One (separate motor) together with the Benz Micro LP. In relation to the set up, I was so surprised that set up was a breeze. This is the most manual of the Dynavector tonearms, there is no dial to adjust anti-skate and tracking force.

Tracking warped LPs does not present any problem,perhaps this is due to the short armtube, one hardly sees the stylus riding the LP up and down.

The looks gives the impression of a "difficult to set up" tonearm, in reality, it is not.
Dear Raul and Genesis, Your remarks and Raul's quote from the DV manual are a bit puzzling to me. How do we reconcile the two concepts of "lightness" as you both mention and tonearm "effective mass"? In their literature DV does make the dual and to me internally contradictory claims for both qualities. In fact, they quote the effective mass (with their standard 15-gram headshell) at 25 grams! (That's high, folks.) As I understand the concept of effective mass, it is a measure of the inertia of the tonearm, which along with the cartridge and hardware mass interacts with the compliance of the cartridge to determine the LF resonant frequency. I don't see how a tonearm can be described as "light" when it has a high effective mass. Mind you, the high effective mass is what you want with a low compliance LOMC, and this is what makes me interested in the DV tonearm, in fact. It certainly is a beautifully made and well thought out product.
Lewm, my post, which is the first response in this thread, mentions the short arm and massiveness of the structure as a whole.

The Dynavector consists of two separate tonearms, a very unusual design allowing for low mass in the vertical plane and high mass in the horizontal plane.

That very short arm (the low mass) is also subject to VTA errors, due to ultra short pivot point. The good news is the high horizontal mass makes for great bass with many cartridges.

It helps to look at a photograph. The Dynavector is such a departure from other designs it's not easy to understand unless you've owned one.
Lewm, pls look up the arm on the Dyna website. The Dyna is 2 arms in one. One for horizontal movement and one for vertical movement. Theoretically, that is what is most desired in a tonearm but has it's own working quirks like Albertporter mentions.

Designing a tonearm like this, you can achieve very high effective mass horizontally and low effective mass vertically. It's hard to explain. You have to see how it works. Idf you see the picture, you can figure it out.

Dear Lewm: Take a look to the 505 manual here:
" 6. Arm resonance in low frequency range " , it is very objective to understand what you ask.

Now, the 505 has a low effective mass ( sub-arm ) against the main arm. It is light, you speak about the 15gr headshell weight but this is the weight not the effective mass that has a direct relationship from at what distance ( from the pivot ) is that weight ( 15grs. ) that in this case that distance is extremely short and this fact gives ( on the vertical way. ) a lower effective mass than the 15gr. weight.

Here it is what you can read on the 507-MK2:

" 2. What is the bi-Axis inertia controlled tonearm.
The tonearm is required to fulfill two functions so that the cartridge can reproduce the exact signal from the record groove. One of these is to hold the cartridge stationary at audible frequencies so that the stylus and cantilever motion is translated into a music system without losses.
The other is to allow the cartridge to track warped records.
These require totally contradictory properties from the tonearm and so all conventional tonearms are a compromise between the two.
However, a very reasonable solution exists in the bi-axis tonearm.
The bi-Axis inertia control tonearm is in effect two arms in one - the main arm beam has an effective-mass that is 3 or 4 times higher compared with conventional tonearm
but moves only horizontally. On the other hand, the sub-arm has a lower effective- mass than any conventional tonearm but moves only in the vertical direction.
This combination means that the high effective-mass in the horizontal direction holds the cartridge steady at audio frequencies, especially at low frequencies and high groove excursions, whilst the low vertical effective-mass allows unmatched warp riding performance. "

Lewm, you can always ask directly to Dynavector whom can/could give you a lot better explanation that I can.

I think that we can give you only what were/are our each one experiences with that tonearm design.

Regards and enjoy the music.
I get it. The vertically pivoting portion of the tonearm can develop a relatively high effective mass AND be "light" in weight at the same time, due to its short length. I am especially intrigued by Raul's mention that it can be used with no drilling, by fastening it to the mounting board with double-sided tape.
Lewm, ONLY the 505 can be fastened to the amrboard without drilling. The 507 is another story. You need to drill to install the 507.

Hope this helps clear things out.
I am also considering a Dynavector for my new Raven. In my research I came across another curiosity. Dynavector uses Stevenson's alignment rather then the more common Lofgren or Baerwald. Is this something to consider when choosing an arm or are the differences really just academic?


The mounting template that the 507 MK II comes with has a pivot to spindle distance of 226mm and an overhang of 15mm for an effective length of 241mm. Null points are at 60.1mm and 116.5mm. I don't know what alignment method this is, but I've tried Loefgren and Baerwald and both worked fine for me. I currently have it set up based on the template and the cartridge mounting gauge provided. I use what was provided with the arm because I find the cartridge mounting gauge very convenient and it allows you to set up the null points as well.

If the tonearm is mounted based on the template provided and then one decides to use Lofgren to set the overhang, the Dynavector headshell barely has enough room for the cartridge to slide to where it should go. I experimented with a Sumiko headshell and had no problem setting it up since this headshell has long mounting slots for the screws.

In my experience, either using Loefgren or the template provided with the arm, I always got clean and undistorted sound from the arm.

Best Regards,